Pet medication hearing: AVMA testimony strives to protect, advance veterinary interests

Published on May 02, 2016
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[caption id="attachment_15211" align="alignright" width="276"]dejong1-350 AVMA Board Chair Dr. John de Jong[/caption]

Dr. John de Jong, chair of the AVMA Board of Directors, addressed members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Friday during a hearing about the pet medication industry. The hearing was live-streamed, and a recorded session is available. (Dr. de Jong's testimony begins at roughly the 2:26 mark of the video.) You can also read Dr. de Jong’s full testimony that was submitted to the subcommittee, as well as the AVMA’s press release.

Although the hearing was focused on the pet medication industry, the driving forces behind it are two federal bills (H.R.3174 and S.1200) that mandate prescription writing for pet medications. Although we agree with the bills’ stated intent to help consumers save money and provide freedom of choice, we oppose the legislation because veterinarians already do these things. The majority of veterinarians already provide prescriptions upon request – it’s included in our Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, and 36 states have laws, regulations, or policies that require veterinarians to provide their clients with a written prescription upon request. This federal legislation is simply not necessary and would take time away from the veterinarian’s real task – providing the best care for their patients – to spend on burdensome paperwork. If you agree, please take a moment to contact your senators and representatives to tell them how you feel. To learn more about why we oppose this legislation, visit our “Just Ask” page.

This is but one example of the AVMA’s advocacy efforts to protect veterinarians and advance veterinary medicine. We’ve also advocated, and will continue to advocate, for continued access to medications such as ketamine and compounded drugs; legislation to reduce the student loan burden; animal health and welfare issues; and small business issues affecting veterinary practices. Our advocacy work also resulted in introduction and passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which allows veterinarians to legally transport controlled substances across state lines in the course of practicing veterinary medicine.

As the collective voice of the veterinary profession, we will continue to advocate on our members’ behalf to protect, promote and advance the veterinary profession.

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